25 July 2015

The state’s first solar-powered fast-charging station is to be built in Townsville, and the government is offering small businesses a plan to help reduce costs

Queensland wants to build a string of charging stations for electric cars stretching more than 1,600km along the Bruce Highway.

The state government has called for expressions of interest to build Australia’s first solar-powered fast-charging station for electric cars in Townsville and says this is just the first of many.

“Our vision is for this to be the start of an electric superhighway,” the minister assisting the premier on north Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, said on Saturday.

“This is a really exciting initiative for Townsville – and could pave the way for a new era in Australia’s motoring history.

“Our vision is for this to be the start of an electric superhighway by facilitating fast-charging service locations for drivers travelling up and down the length of Queensland.”

The development would give motorists the option of filling up their car with fuel at a standard bowser or plugging in their electric car for fast charging.

“Up to two electric vehicles could charge at the same time, with an expected average charge time of 15 to 30 minutes,” O’Rourke said.

“We understand that for small businesses, pioneering a new technology can be expensive so we have developed a business model to help reduce costs.

“Ergon Energy is offering the business owner the opportunity to 100% lease 25kW of solar panels and Economic Development Queensland will provide support for EV charger equipment leasing.”

The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association CEO, Mark McKenzie, said retail fuel businesses had to accommodate alternative forms of transport energy to survive.

“Petrol station businesses must accommodate technological change to remain viable,” he said. “By incorporating solar facilities into the design of service stations, annual business costs can be reduced.”

Extracted in full from the Guardian.